County's smallest school may be saved

HOPES are high that the smallest school in Suffolk can be saved from closure following successful talks with another primary.Under-threat Peasenhall Primary is hoping to form a partnership with Middleton Primary – a move due to be discussed at the next Suffolk County Council executive committee meeting on April 5.

HOPES are high that the smallest school in Suffolk can be saved from closure following successful talks with another primary.

Under-threat Peasenhall Primary is hoping to form a partnership with Middleton Primary – a move due to be discussed at the next Suffolk County Council executive committee meeting on April 5.

Staff, parents and governors involved with both schools have expressed their support for a federation, and if the executive committee agrees to back the formal collaboration arrangements, Peasenhall Primary would no longer need to close.

In October last year, the executive committee agreed in principle to its closure with effect from August 31, but allowed further time for the idea of a federation to be explored. It deferred a final decision due in February to allow more time for talks with Middleton.

Under what would be a ground-breaking partnership within Suffolk, the schools would work together with pupils educated at the two sites, but sharing facilities and a headteacher.

Middleton Primary head Kath Cook would manage the overall running of both schools, which would share resources and funding, and there would be more opportunities for social interaction between pupils from both sites.

Most Read

“We have worked extremely hard during the last two months to put forward a proposal which will benefit Middleton School as well as Peasenhall and we are delighted to be able to agree to enter a collaboration.

“This will be the first formal collaboration in Suffolk and will offer exciting opportunities to work together and maximise the educational benefits for all our pupils.”

Sarah Gallagher, chair of governors at Peasenhall Primary, said they were “delighted” that the head, governors and staff at Middleton had agreed to enter into a collaboration.

“Mrs Cook has given detailed consideration to plans demonstrating that there can be a way forward for the schools together.

“This is the culmination of months of hard work and research on the part of our governors, staff and parents, determined not to lose Peasenhall Primary School, which is at the heart of this rural community.

“I hope other small rural schools could be helped by this approach which provides a model for communities in similar circumstances.”

The news was also welcomed by Tony Lewis, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for children and young people.

“I am delighted that Middleton and Peasenhall Primary Schools have worked together to put a viable case to us.

“It would be Suffolk's first formal collaboration between schools, and I hope it would provide a blueprint for other schools in the county to seriously consider this new way of working.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter